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A Promise Made in the Depths of the Underworld - Raven Black - Chapter 1 by Kaieem full book limited free

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Raven Black

Author: Kaieem

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Chapter 1: A Promise Made in the Depths of the Underworld

< Midgard, Yamikishi Territory, Sotogawa, Midnight District | Gelum, Titus-5, 2114 AU >

In the darkness of night through the depths of a city that never sleeps, two figures wreathed in black cloaks could be seen hastily walking. The figure in front walked with a sense of purpose through the dank alleyways while the other struggled to keep up.

"Master… -Pant- Master! Can you please... -Pant- slow down?! -Pant Pant- I can't keep up!" the figure behind cried out.

The voice was of a meek boy that was out of his element shouting.

He fell onto his knees into a patch of boggy ground with his arms outstretched to soften his fall. Covered with muck and grime he lifted his head to the sky and his hood fell off, his face now illuminated by the full moon's glow.

His sweat-covered, ashen skin glistened and the soft glow of his silver eyes pierced the moonlight. His short, tapered, white hair moved with the cold wind as did the plethora of elaborate, connecting earrings that hung from his pointy ears. His normally delicate facial features were overrun by fatigue that mostly masked the small dots of lighter skin littered across his cheeks as he panted from exhaustion.

"I can't go on anymore... -Pant Pant- We've been walking like this for hours now! -Pant-"

The other figure stopped their stride and turned to look at him.

"It seems that I should've focused more on your physical training," said a stern, feminine voice bereft of fatigue from the void that was her hood.

She approached him and immediately became a tower that loomed over him, casting a shadow that covered all of his peripherals. She stooped down to his level and from underneath her cloak, a gloved hand reached out towards him.

"In the coming years, you'll have to make that a focus of your training, Sato."

Her words sounded sincere, but she gave off such a powerful and menacing presence that he had no other choice but to take them as a threat.

After a few moments of catching his breath, he reached out and grabbed her hand. She helped him to his feet and now that they were standing next to each other, a clear height difference could be seen, with him only reaching up to the lower part of her hood. But despite his short stature, his physique was a bit broader than hers based on their silhouettes.

"Master, -Pant- you know that I don't like that nickname."

A slight chuckle escaped her hood. "Of course. I'm sorry, *Satoshi*."

Her hand made its way to rest in his soft, damp hair and a ray of green light emanated from her hand that traveled up and down his body, cleaning the mud and sweat from his person. It also simultaneously sent a wave of energy and relief throughout his body, washing away any traces of fatigue.

After a few moments, the light disappeared and she retracted her hand back underneath her cloak.

"That's all that I can do for now without garnering too much attention. Speaking of which, there are already some... unpleasant eyes that have fallen upon us," she said, looking up at the starless sky.

Satoshi looked up as well, but he saw nothing. But he knew that his renowned master wouldn't make such a comment without reason. Find authorized novels in Webnovel, faster updates, better experience, Please click <a href=""></a> for visiting.

"We're close to our destination so you shouldn't worry about becoming exhausted again," she said, then turned around and began walking once more.

Without a word nor a moment's hesitation, Satoshi followed her.

They walked amongst the remnants of buildings in this supposedly abandoned neighborhood as amid the rubble were people that still called this place their home. He hadn't noticed them because of his preoccupation with his own predicament.

Most of them were scarred and dirty beyond comprehension without proper clothes to keep themselves warm. Their looks of sorrow and anguish pierced Satoshi's heart.

"I can't believe this. It's been almost a month since Mors's attack, but they still haven't begun rebuilding this district or doing anything for these people. Instead, they quarantine the area claiming that the remnants of his power make it dangerous while keeping these people in? Why—"

"Steel yourself, Satoshi. Don't forget your training now that you have to put it to the test."

His years of training to be mentally prepared for situations like these flooded his mind.

"... Yes, Master."

He took a deep breath and attempted to numb his mind to their desperation.

He contemplated how if continued being this emotional he wouldn't be able to be like his master one day. But as he looked at a pair of the homeless—a mother and son—as they huddled together under a blanket he couldn't help but think how unfair this was and how much he wanted to help them. What did they do to deserve this?

But he had to sorrowfully blind himself to their presence once more as pressed on with his master.

After a few more minutes of seemingly aimless travel, they came upon a building in particular.

It was like the other run-down buildings that they saw up until now, but something about it stood out. Its perfectly untouched wooden door seemed out of place. It didn't make sense that the door would be the thing that suffered the least amount of damage during the attack.

"Master, is this the place?" Satoshi asked, looking at the sorry excuse of a building.

Without paying attention to his question, she walked up and knocked on the door. Then from inside of the building they heard a pair of loud footsteps walking towards the door.

"Everyone is a moon that has a dark side they show to no one," a deep voice said from inside.

"But I have seen the darkness of many, and the darkness within myself," she replied.

"And so I know that the light cannot exist without the dark,"

"And neither the dark without the light."

After listening to their exchange, Satoshi couldn't help but wonder what establishment would require such an ominous passcode.

The door opened and what they saw inside was a giant of a man wearing a black suit.

His robust figure was so muscular in fact that his suit could barely keep itself from ripping apart. But despite standing over 10' tall the most noticeable thing about him wasn't his incredible physique, but his face—or his lack of one.

The brightly lit interior of the building did nothing to aid Satoshi in seeing the man's face as the light around his head was being visibly twisted and distorted to create a mask of shadows of sorts.

'It's rude to stare, Satoshi,' he heard his master's voice say in his head. 'He's wearing an item that conceals his appearance if that was what you're wondering.'

This telepathic communication is something that he came to expect from her, but it still startled him occasionally.

'... I figured, but I can't place its enchantment. Is it a high-tier enchantment?' he asked.

'Relatively. It's a {2nd Tier} illusory enchantment, but now's not the time to dwell on such things, we still have some business to attend to.'

'Of course. Sorry, Master.'

He took his attention away from the mystery of the man's face, but he saw something even more alarming as he did.

From underneath the man's sleeves glowed the outlines of tattoos that depicted a set of catacombs with a serpent disappearing deep into their depths.

Satoshi instantly recognized these tattoos. They were the markings of 'The Underground'.

The Underground was the most notorious crime syndicate based in Yamikishi Territory led by 'The Golden Leviathan', Goro Ryuuzaki. They were known to specialize in trafficking valuable items, goods, creatures, and the most precious cargo of all—people.

This raised two questions in Satoshi's mind; How was his master associated with such people? What was it that she wanted from them?

He knew that she could obtain whatever item or material that she wanted and if those weren't the reasons, then that would only leave—

"Come on in, my brother and sister," the man said with his arm outstretched guiding them in.

With a step lacking any uncertainty or fear, his master entered the building as he closely followed.

The interior of the building was surprisingly neat despite its outward appearance. It bore a resemblance to the reception area of a hotel, except for a staircase in the middle that went underground.

Satoshi asked himself if the entire building was an illusion and if it was, who would be able to create such an intricate, large-scale illusion.

The man closed the door behind them and said, "Head down the stairs and turn right when you reach the intersection. After a minute or two, you'll reach the director's office."

"Thank you, brother," she replied as she gave him a slight bow and gestured to Satoshi to follow her as she descended the steps.

While heading down the spiral staircase, Satoshi walked up beside her and whispered, "Master, why are we dealing with The Underground? How are you involved with—"

She raised her hand, interrupting his speech.

'Satoshi, I have lived for a long time and have made many acquaintances in innumerable walks of life,' she said to him telepathically. 'Secondly, you'll see soon enough why we're here and I assure you that you'll find it at least a bit interesting. For now, just trust me.'

'... Yes, Master.'

They came upon the intersection at the bottom of the stairs and a sign hanging from the ceiling that showed them where all the hallways led.

Going straight would lead them to the 'Storage Room', going right led to the 'Director's Office', and going left would lead to the 'Auction House'.

Satoshi looked around and he noticed something odd, the architecture of the establishment completely changed. While the architecture of the first floor wasn't anywhere bad, this was just on a different level.

The halls now resembled ones you would see in palaces with very elaborate décor and masterfully designed columns. Even the atmosphere itself seemed to have improved to give the area a more warm and welcoming feel.

He was awestruck. The people who created these amazing arcane inventions must have been masters of runecraft.

A small smile appeared on his face but was quickly extinguished as he thought about how the creators of these runes worked for The Underground. His astonishment turned to fear as he worried about how The Underground had such talented artificers in their ranks.

"Let's head to the Director's Office, Satoshi."

"... Oh. Yes, master," he replied, startled, as they walked down the right hallway.

"You seem to be lost in thought, Satoshi."

"Oh, it's nothing," he replied with a nervous smile. "I was just thinking about how talented the people who made these runes must be. Hehe."

He then felt her warm and reassuring hand gently pat his head. And even though it wasn't spoken, he felt his master's sentiment, 'Don't worry you'll get there someday.'

At the end of the hallway, he saw that they were now coming up on two massive, gold-encrusted doors that began opening as they got closer.

They stepped into the pure white room on the other side of the doors as they began closing behind them. But they were no longer golden, they too turned completely white.

He was amazed once more. The work that must have gone into this was tremendous. But Satoshi couldn't understand why. Why was all of this done? What was its purpose?

He looked at the only furniture in the room—a desk with two chairs in front of it and another behind, and a mirror on the wall behind the desk.

"What do we do? There's nobody here," Satoshi whispered to his master.

His master turned to him and through the darkness of her cloak, he saw a white light that shaped itself into a smile.

"We take a seat and wait for our host to appear, of course," she replied.

She proceeded to do just that. She took a seat and as it was his master's decision, Satoshi did the same.

As he sat down, the lights in the room went out. But before he could even process what happened, the lights came back on and a man was now sitting behind the desk.

"Welcome, my guests," the man said in a voice that resonated around the room.

His commanding voice was only overshadowed by his overwhelming presence. His black suit that wonderfully displayed his muscular frame, his seasoned face that had exhibited numerous battle scars, and his immaculately shaven, white facial hair that perfectly blended into the background that was his equally as pale skin all added to this presence. His perfectly groomed, tapered hair and piercing eyes both followed the trend of being stark white with a black ring in his eyes that represented the edge of his irises and a small dot that represented his pupils.

His mind went blank as he couldn't believe his eyes. He knew exactly who this intimidating figure sitting in front of him was... It was Devin Porter.

Devin 'The Spectre' Porter was known as one of the greatest [Mages] in history and a pioneer of modern illusory spells. He was a Platinum II adventurer and the guild master of the 'Umbra' guild—one of the top 100 guilds. But a few years ago he handed down the guild to his second-in-command and disappeared without a trace.

Satoshi couldn't comprehend why he was here. He was known to be against this type of business as he demonstrated this aversion when he went out of his way to speak out against the 'Rehabilitation Law' inaugurated in the 'Outer Territories' a few years back.

"It's been a while, Madam Melancholy," the man said, gesturing to Satoshi's master. "I see that you have also brought your protégé with you," he turned to look at Satoshi. "It's a pleasure to meet you, young man. My name is Devin Porter, but you can call me Devin. What's yours?" he asked as he held out his hand.

"O-Oh, of course," Satoshi reached over the desk and shook his hand, "My name is Satoshi Auber."

A firm grip that exuded power and confidence was what Satoshi's delicate hand was in for. And for just a moment their eyes met and Satoshi believed that he could see straight into his soul.

'Emptiness and hypocrisy masked behind a cloak of falsehood and conceit,' said a voice in his mind.

Satoshi quickly retracted his hand and used it to hold his now viscously throbbing head.

'Dammit, it's happening again...'

"Is everything alright?" Devin asked, ready to help.

"He'll be okay," his master said and placed a hand on his head. "But now that the formalities are over, where is my purchase?"

"Straight to the point as always. As long as he's going to be alright, I guess that it's time to get down to business."

His posture became more relaxed as he leaned back into his chair.

He raised his right hand into the air, balled it up into a fist, and said, "Monitor #00-1, enable remote viewing of room AA-00."

The mirror hanging on the wall behind him lit up and began to show the image of a metal pod in a white, padded room.

Satoshi—who was now rid of his severe headache—opened his eyes to look at the image.

"As you can see, the product has been secured for transport. All we need now is the confirmation of payment," the man said with an ever-present grin on his face.

"Of course," she replied, and a pair of lights flickered from underneath her hood.

The man looked down at his desk for a moment, then back up at her and gave an approving nod.

"It's always a pleasure doing business with you, Madam Melancholy. Your purchase should be waiting for you at the designated location."

"I see," The madam stood up and gestured to Satoshi to do the same. "Then it seems that we're finished here. Let's go, Satoshi."

She gave Devin a small bow which was reciprocated and turned around heading for the door, closely followed by Satoshi.

"G-Goodbye, Mr. Porter," Satoshi said while trying to keep up with his master.

"Goodbye, Satoshi," Devin responded.

But as they approached the door, Devin said something to his master that confused Satoshi.

"Madam Melancholy!" he called out. "I know that it's been ages since we've last seen each other, but you seem... a bit different. You've changed, and it's a change that would normally take… well, a longer period than the time we spent apart."

Satoshi asked himself what Devin meant because for as long as he has known her, his master hasn't changed, not even in the slightest.

She stopped and turned around to face him. From underneath her pitch-black hood, the mysterious lights blinked once more.

"Change is inevitable, especially in a world like this," she said, in a drab tone.

Even though her tone seemed devoid of emotion, this was one of the few times Satoshi has ever felt even a hint of passion from her words.

She turned around and continued her walk out of the room. As Satoshi followed her, he could hear a grandiose series of laughter coming from the office that only got louder and more exaggerated the further away they got.

Devin was a lot different from how he thought he'd be and Satoshi struggled to understand what it was that he found so funny. Was his master's statement a joke? Or did it only seem like a joke to him?

With hurried steps, they made their way back to the entrance of the establishment, but the guard from before was gone. Without time to speculate where the man went, they quickly exited the building, but they were greeted by an unexpected sight as they did.

Instead of the 'Scar of the Sotogawa'—the Midnight District—they entered the back room of a store.

Before Satoshi had time to gain his bearings, his master asked him, "It happened again, didn't it? The voice in your head?"

"... Yes, master."

"What did it say when you touched him?"

"It said the same thing from last time, 'Emptiness and hypocrisy masked behind a cloak of falsehood and conceit'."

"Hehe," she chuckled. "That sounds to be an apt description of him."

She turned to him and placed a hand on his shoulder.

"Always listen to that voice, Satoshi. When you can't trust anyone else, know that you can trust that voice."

"Yes, Master. But, I know that I can always trust you, Master," he said with a smile on his face that could melt even the coldest of hearts.

And for just a moment, he could've sworn that he felt his master's heart flutter.

Then she responded, "Of course. You can always trust me."

He gave her a nod and they made their way out of the currently renovating supermarket into the busy streets of downtown Melrah.

Their walk amongst the masses of Sotogawa was made up of side glances and murmuring as passersby on foot and in carriages crossed their path.

His once ironclad belief in their discreet movements was shattered as he saw their obvious, scornful side glances. In a moment of weakness, his thoughts immediately went to the ignorance of these people to the suffering of those in the Midnight District. But he quickly stopped himself from thinking such thoughts and from making his emotions get the better of him. This experience amplified his admiration for his master for her ability to completely control her emotions, a feat that seemed impossible for him.

After being assaulted with the sounds of a never-ending shuffle, lights from passing carriages, and the incessant pleading of street vendors, they arrived at their destination.

In front of them was a wonderfully ornate, black and gold carriage parked in an alleyway. Anybody who walked by the carriage gave it a wide berth because attached to the carriage was a pair of sleeping, horse-sized wolves that had protruding spines running down their backs, and as they aggressively snored the scent of despair filled the area.

These were the well-known malevolent and intelligent creatures known as 'Worgs'. One of the few domesticable fell creatures. It is a well-known fact that you have to be powerful in some aspect to make them obedient because worgs were known to eat owners that they considered to be weaker than themselves.

Knowing this, passersby avoided the carriage out of respect, either that or they were terrified of these demonic, man-eating wolves that could easily live rent-free in their nightmares.

"I see. We're pretty bad at being inconspicuous, aren't we?" Satoshi chuckled under his breath.

He saw that leaning up against the rear of the carriage deeper in the alley was the 'product' that his master bought.

The pod stood eight feet tall and had a hatch with a small circular window on it that was obscured by a white haze.

The madam approached the pod and placed her palm on the window. It lit up and -Pshhhhh-, the hatch began to slide upwards and a cloud of cold poured out of it as a low grunt could be heard coming from inside.

Then a pair of clawed hands grabbed the sides of the pod from inside the smoke, bending the steel.

Satoshi immediately jumped back out of shock.

'What... is that?!'

Out of the mist stepped a shirtless, muscularly built man that stood over seven feet tall. Frost covered his bare, mahogany skin and blanketed the tattoos that made up all of his exposed upper body. He had on a pair of black, harem pants that became skin-tight at his shins due to a pair of wooden shin guards with symbols that Satoshi didn't recognize etched into them.

The last thing to exit the haze was his face with an unkempt, salt and pepper beard that had specks of snowflakes entwined into it. His raven-black, shoulder-length dreads were shaven into an undercut and gradually faded to white the further back it went.

As the man exited the pod, Satoshi noticed something interesting about him. His eyes were the inverse of Devin's—having a white ring that represented the edges of his irises and a small, white dot that represented his pupils, surrounded by a deep black.

With a deep voice that caused the nearby area and Satoshi to quiver, he said, "Yo. 'Sup?"

In a sudden flash of speed, his master rushed up to the man and placed her hand on his chest.

She looked up at him and said something inaudible to Satoshi.

A wide, toothy grin appeared on the man's face, revealing his serrated teeth as he turned his gaze towards Satoshi.

"Guess's time," the man said.

His master stepped away from the man and made her way to his side. He felt her hand pat him on the shoulder.

"Satoshi, I'd like you to meet your very first party member," she said, gesturing towards the man.

Satoshi looked up at her in complete disbelief at what he just heard.

"W-Wh-What?!" he exclaimed.

"Yeah... Can hardly believe it myself, G. This is the last thing I thought I'd be doing right now. But, here I am."

Satoshi looked at the man, then back to his master, back to the man, then back to his master. He did this process over and over again.

Then in a gentle and beautiful tone that he had never heard before his master said, "Satoshi. You can trust me, and you can trust him."

Mesmerized by her voice, he took a deep breath and forced himself to calm down.

The man walked over to them and stooped down, holding out his hand to Satoshi.

"Doh worry, G. I woh bite. At least, not you."

Satoshi looked up at his master once more and he could hear her words echo throughout his head.

"My name's Cyte. S'nice to meetcha, Satoshi."

"I-It's nice to meet you too," Satoshi replied and shook his hand.

Cyte tilted his head to the side and smiled at Satoshi. The smile seemed genuine, but because of his saw-like teeth and intimidating appearance, it only caused Satoshi more anxiety.

But to Satoshi's relief, he didn't hear the voice—the voice that always warned him about suspicious people. This surprised him, but it was well appreciated to not have to go through another headache, especially in this situation.

The absence of the voice's advice made Satoshi believe that he couldn't be too bad a person and to support this belief was his handshake. Even though Cyte's hand was much larger than his own, his grip was extremely soft and friendly, especially when compared to Devin's.

So, even though he was nervous out of his mind, he still managed to at least give him the courtesy of returning the smile.

< Midgard, Yamikishi Territory, Sotogawa, Melrah | Gelum, Titus-5, 2114 AU >

Kaieem Kaieem

Have some ideas or questions about my story? Comment it and let me know.

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Proofreading is pretty hard, especially when it's your own work. If you see any grammatical errors don't be afraid to point them out. I'm a newbie writer and appreciate all the help I can get. Thanks!

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